Declining active user base across telecom sector: TRAI

Declining active user base across telecom sector: TRAI

Indian Market
by 5paisa Research Team Last Updated: 2022-09-16T15:33:49+05:30

The data on subscribers for July 2022 has been made public by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The number of active subscribers across the industry decreased by 4.3 million to 1,013 million, falling by 0.4% month over month but increasing by 2.4% annually.

An operator's temporary database of subscribers who have roamed through a specific service area is known as the "active subscribers" or "visitor location register" (VLR). Since only one VLR serves each base transceiver station (BTS), the registration is unique. The active subscribers in VLR on the day of the peak VLR of the specific month for which the data is being collected are used to calculate the VLR data. This information is gathered from switches with 72-hour maximum purge times.

At the end of July, the top five service providers controlled 98.42% of the market for broadband subscribers overall. Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, BSNL, and Atria Convergence were these service providers. At the end of July, there were 650.4 million urban subscribers, up from 649 million at the end of June. The number of subscribers in India's vast rural hinterland decreased to 523.3 million from 523.9 million during the same period, marking a rare decline in rural subscriptions.

According to TRAI, India's wireless user base increased slightly by 0.06 percent to 1148 million at the end of July from 1147 million the month prior. The market shares of Reliance Jio and Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Airtel increased from 36.23 percent to 31.66 percent and 31.63 percent, respectively, while Vodafone-share Idea's decreased from 22.37 percent in June to 22.22 percent. According to the Visitor Location Register, a crucial indicator of the proportion of users who are actively using a mobile network, Bharti Airtel has 97.99 percent of its users actively using the network. In contrast, Bharti Airtel has 91.88 percent of its users active on the network, while Vodafone Idea has 85.03 percent.

By July 2022, there were 382 million active Reliance Jio subscribers, a decrease of 1 million (average +3.1 million over the previous six months). A total of 416 million subscribers were added, bringing the total up by 2.9 million. However, the percentage of active subscribers to total subscribers fell to 92%, a decrease of 91 basis points on a monthly basis.

Bharti Airtel's active sub-base decreased from 356 million to 356 million (down from +1.4 million in the previous six months). The number of subscribers rose by 0.5 million overall.

The number of Vodafone Idea's active subscribers fell to 1.7 million in July 2022, from 217 million (down by an average of 1.8 million per month over the previous six months). 1.5 million fewer subscribers overall.

The active subscriber market share of Reliance Jio increased by 6 basis points on a monthly basis to reach 37.7%; Bharti Airtel's increased by 5 basis points on a monthly basis to reach 35.2%; and Vodafone Idea's decreased by 8 basis points to 21.4%.

Industry-wide in July 2022, there were 777 million mobile broadband subscribers, an increase of 5.7 million. This represents a monthly growth of 0.7% and a yearly decline of 0.8%. This has been consistent over the last three months, but it is still below historical adds.

The number of mobile broadband customers at Bharti Airtel increased by 2.6 million to 217 million, which should reduce the impact of premiumization on average revenue per use (ARPU). However, the net add is the highest in the previous 10 months.

The number of monthly broadband subscribers to Reliance Jio increased by 2.9 million to 416 million. Its mobile broadband market share, after adjusting for inactive subscribers, was 51.4%, a decrease of 26 basis points on a monthly basis.

Bharti Airtel had a 29.2% market share for mobile broadband, up 28 basis points on a monthly basis, while Vodafone Idea had a 16.5% market share, down 3 basis points on a monthly basis. The 123 million subscribers to Vodafone Idea have remained stable over the last three quarters.

In July 2022, the number of wired broadband subscribers increased by 0.76 million on a monthly basis to 29.5 million, increasing by 2.6% on a monthly basis and by 22.7% on an annual basis. Reliance Jio added 0.11 million subscribers, while Bharti Airtel added 0.14 million (up from 0.11 million monthly in the previous six months) (vs 0.27 million per month in the past six months). 13.2 million additional subscribers, up 0.48 million for other operators. 

Market share for Bharti Airtel increased by 16.9%, up 4 basis points on a monthly basis, while Reliance Jio's increased to 21.3% (down 18 basis points on a monthly basis). While its market share decreased by 31 basis points per month to 13.1%, BSNL's subscriber base increased by 0.01 million.

Porting increased across the board by 10.2 million, or 13.4%, on a monthly basis in July 2022. The churn rate for Mobile Number Portability (MNP) was 0.9% compared to 0.8% in June 2022.

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About the Author

Our research team is composed of some highly qualified research professionals, their expertise range across sectors.


Investment/Trading is subject to market risk, past performance doesn’t guarantee future performance. The risk of trading/investment loss in securities markets can be substantial. Also, the above report is compiled from data available on public platforms.

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